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Five times Capcom really got it right with Street Fighter 5

For as much as we love to complain...

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • May 8, 2018 at 7:59 p.m. PDT • Comments: 85

We've had Street Fighter 5 for a little over two years now. Those were two very volatile years kicked off with plenty of early turbulence that the game is still recovering from in some ways.

There's been plenty of attention and dissection of Capcom's SF5 missteps, and surely not an equal amount of focus on its successes... which is more or less the way of the world.

With that in mind I thought it'd be good to look back over the last two years and try to highlight some of the brighter moments and achievements of the Street Fighter 5 journey.

I've put together a list of five of what I think are probably Capcom's greatest successes with SF5 that include both general truths about as well as specific moments for the latest entry in the series.

This aren't ranked in any particular order as I kind of just went chronologically back through the last two and a half years.

Read on to see the full list and then please jump into the comments to share your thoughts on it as well as if there are other moments/aspects that you feel deserve to be acknowledged.

Some of the Character Models

We can talk all day (and some of us still do, ahem Gibgun) about Ken's face and wouldn't be wrong in saying it was a big folly with one of the franchise's most recognizable characters.

The list goes on as we can also discuss Ibuki's mug, Falke's animations and Alex's backwards torso. Given all the heat visuals like that get, Capcom also did some great work with their design and execution in other characters.

The bearded version of Ryu got so much attention that the community started to widely call him "Hot Ryu," and that has since become how Capcom and third party creators like Pop Culture Shock refer to him.

Indeed the visual design and execution for characters Laura, R. Mika, Kolin, Zangief, Chun-Li, Cammy, Necalli, and Menat are also incredibly well done, and by no means an exhaustive list in this avenue.

The Input Lag Reduction

It's not great to have to trumpet the fact that a high point was actually just the partial fixing of a major issue the community took with Street Fighter 5, but it was a very big deal nonetheless when Capcom reduced the input lag from eight to around six and a half frames.

Context is crucial here as seldom was an SF5 conversation had that didn't see the game's eight infamous frames of input lag brought up. It was during the latter part of September 2016 that we found out Capcom had actually reduced the input delay by about a frame and a half.

"Eight frames" was one of the biggest mustard stains on Capcom's shirt at the time, and although many legacy players would have liked to see the number reduced to five or four, this showed the company was finally acknowledging one of SF5's most widespread complaints.

The CEO 2016 Announcement

It's been no secret that Street Fighter 5's early chapters did not equate to a very good look for the game, nor much in the way of Capcom being in good standing with its fans.

February - May of 2016 was all bumps and potholes, the most recent of which at the time was Ibuki's release delay from May to June. On top of this, players truly felt that Capcom was not doing enough in the way of communication, so we all felt very much in the dark most of the time.

CEO 2016 was perhaps the first major positive moment since launch date. We were still riding the high that came from RZR|Infiltration finally being dethroned at the hands of FOX|Tokido in an incredible Grand Finals set, then Haunts (at the time, of Capcom) took the stage.

Haunts announced not only a new release date for Ibuki, but that Balrog would be dropping the same day. If that wasn't enough, the game's highly requested single player Story Mode would also be coming with them.

As a cherry on top, the upcoming Urien and Juri would be playable in said story mode. This felt like a complete 180 from recent months as Capcom finally took the mic to communicate, and did so with incredibly good news.

The Arcade Edition DLC Reveal Trailer

This might have been the brightest moment for SF5 since it was first announced.

In the same vein as the Ibuki/Balrog announcement, Capcom hit a grand slam with this reveal to a crowd already pumped because of the insanely entertaining Capcom Cup Grand Finals they had just watched.

Having just seen Rise|MenaRD make history with his Capcom Cup win, Yoshinori Ono took the stage to announce not only Sakura, but all six of the Season 3 DLC characters.

This included low hanging fruit fan favorites like Cody, Blanka and Sagat, but also the intriguing newcomers in both Falke and G. This marked the end of the first two years of turbulence as many of Street Fighter 5's major problems had been attended to, at least in some form.

Fans were being informed, and again it was with a ton of good news.

Season 3.5

It would have been nicer to post this before Falke's rocky release put a damper on things, but Season 3.5 offers us an SF5 with more dotted "i's" and crossed "T's" than ever before.

Things aren't perfect but Arcade Edition brought with it ample additional content as well as character tweaks, and the arrival of Arcade Mode saw the majority finally deem Street Fighter 5 a complete game.

The visual overhaul gave the title something of a fresh start, further urging players to leave behind the negatives of the previous two years and embrace the new and improved content.

As far as balance goes, the roster may be in the best balance it's seen yet as it doesn't appear as though the top tiers are as far ahead of the pack as they have been.

That's not to say there aren't some characters that could still use some adjustments, specifically in the department of buffing lower tiers, but we're seeing well rounded top eight brackets and frustrations like Season 2 Balrog/Urien/Laura and Season 3 Abigail/Rashid don't really have a Season 3.5 equal.

There are surely other successes to note such as the Capcom Pro Tour in general, (again, surely not without flaws) and the overall excitement/entertainment SF5 brings as a spectator eSport.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments below, so please don't hesitate to chime in. Also, stay tuned for the inevitable "Five of Capcom's biggest Street Fighter 5 failures thus far" post.

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